The joys of owning your own business

in Managing by The Business Room
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You love what you do and now you’ve finally worked out how to get paid doing it.For many people this is a dream come true, but owning a small business is no easy ride. Only a minor portion (12 per cent) of Australian business owners would recommend going into small business ownership for the money.1

So, what keeps the 2 million small businesses registered in Australia going strong?2The answer is quite simple – the journey is worth it.

Travel the road to freedom

Everyone wants the freedom to be their own boss and it seems it is a national fascination. Small business data from the Australian government suggests that over half a million Australians are involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity at any point in time.2

The freedom of being self-employed, however, comes with great responsibility. There’s the financial risk, long working hours, deadlines to meet, customers to reach and records to keep as well as an endless list of ‘must dos’. But a majority (60 per cent) of small business owners wouldn’t have it any other way. These vendors would recommend being a small business owner to others.1

Galaxy Research recently conducted a survey on behalf of American Express to identify the motivations behind small business ownership. Their online survey indicated that a majority (70 per cent) of small business owners are in it for self-satisfaction. Other key influences included feelings of accomplishment, freedom and the appeal of getting paid to do something they loved.1

Blood, sweat and tears

There’s no doubt that it’s hard work owning your own business. For a start, the hours are long – it’s estimated that half of small business owners work more than 40 hours in a typical working week.3

Chances are that you also have the autonomy to choose those hours and hopefully create some balance in your lifestyle. Maybe you like early starts, late nights or want the flexibility to pick the kids up from school. The beauty of a small business is that you are the one calling the shots and shaping your enterprise.

Sometimes the long days don’t even seem so arduous. When you have passion for your work and the results are measurable, you’ll be amazed how the hours don’t tally up quite the same compared to when you’re working for someone else.

Labour of love

The seed of any small business is passion. If you love what you do, chances are you will be more motivated and productive in your work.

Small business ownership also provides an opportunity to be innovative and master different skills. Diversity is often a byproduct of running a small business – you get to try your hand at varied tasks, which ensures your working day will never be boring.

There’s also something gratifying about working towards your own goals and reaping the rewards when they come. What’s more, you also get to choose who you work with – whether that’s deciding to go solo, or creating a business that involves the whole family. It’s totally up to you!

Your chance to make a difference

There’s no denying that small businesses play a vital role in the local community. They give it shape, character, employment and economic drive.

The overwhelming majority of owners still feel they are important to the local community. As well as contributing to the community’s identity, they also feel they offer their customers a superior service, flexibility and convenience.1

Small businesses can also be more generous than their bigger counterparts when it comes to supporting charities and investing in the local community. What better way to feel good than knowing the difference your dollars are making?

Enjoy the perks

So next time you’re up to your elbows in paperwork and perhaps feeling a little frustrated with the lack of cash flow, take a moment to sit back and reflect on how far you’ve come.

Better yet, be proactive and set aside some time to rekindle your business passion and dream up a new marketing campaign to make others love your small business as much as you do.

To learn more about the Shop Small movement, visit Shop Small Australia.


1 Galaxy Research, October 2013 – Conducted online among a representative sample of 301 Australian businesses that mainly deal direct with consumers.

2 Small Business: Key Statistics and Analysis, Australian Government Department of Industry Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, 2012.

3 Australian Small Business: Key Statistics, Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, 2011.

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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.

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Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

  • 20-30
  • 30-40
  • 40-50
  • 50-60

Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

20-30: 18%
30-40: 18%
40-50: 23%
50-60: 41%